News: Seabees celebrate 70th Birthday Ball, party all night
Story by Lance Cpl. Joseph Karwick
IWAKUNI, Japan - Seabees aboard the station celebrated their 70th anniversary birthday at the Club Iwakuni ballroom here March 2.
The event celebrated both the Seabees’ 70th birthday and the Navy Civil Engineer Corps’ 140th birthday.
The Seabees were originally part of the Civil Engineer Corps until the 1940s, when they were recognized as their own branch of the Civil Engineer Corps.
The Seabees invited everyone aboard the station to come and dress in attire from their favorite decade.
“There may be only a few of us aboard station, but we want to show everyone that Seabees really know how to party,” said Cmdr. Jason D. Zeda, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron facilities officer.
The traditional blue and gold colors of the Navy lavishly decorated the ball room.
In the center of the room, patrons gazed upon the Seabee mascot, a blue and gold bee holding a machine gun as well as several construction tools, such as a hammer and saw.
In front of each seat one could find the song of the Seabees, “We Build, We fight,” so when the hymn began to play everyone could sing along.
The attendees also played games built by the Seabees.
Each game had a different achievable goal.
One required players to use a golf club to chip a golf ball into one of several buckets only a few feet away.
The other was set up on a table and had glass mugs set at different heights on miniature shelves.
Players had to try to bounce a ping-pong ball from the table into the mug.
“Building games is a common tradition amongst the Seabees,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class William M. Svoboda, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron facilities builder. “There is no specific design to these games. It’s just whatever you can imagine to put together with what you can find.”
Toward the end of the night, a giant birthday cake rolled out to celebrate the Seabees’ and Civil Engineer Corps anniversaries.
Lastly, local Japanese businesses that donated money to the Seabees bash received plaques in thanks.
The event ended without a hitch, every patron leaving with a smile and a newfound respect for the history and deeds of the Seabees and the Civil Engineer Corps.